A few months ago I wrote a random post on my Facebook wall about being confident. It was a statement I had made to a lady earlier that day who genuinely expressed her joy for a new job she got but also confided in me that she nursed a fear she might mess up the job. The import of that statement kept weighing on my mind ever since, and I have decided to just share my thoughts with whoever is reading this. For a reference, here I quote the said post again:
Your confidence matters. If you fear you are going to mess something up, you most likely will end up messing it up.Don't believe me? How about this real life example that I am sure many people will relate with?
When I was growing up it was often thought of as a thing of class to eat from ceramic plates. My Mum had bought a set comprising of a dozen plates for use in our home and this was usually reserved for dinner and boy, did we feel special eating from those plates. Also, it was the practice in our home for the children (mine was a typical African home with my siblings and many children of relatives staying together) to be involved in doing the chores. We had divided the days of the week amongst ourselves, you do the dishes today, I do tomorrow and next it will be the turn of another ... and so forth. And so it happened that one of us (call her Layo) during her turn, won herself the unenviable position of being the first to break one of our cherished ceramic plates. This was not unexpected, as the plates were by nature fragile and easily breakable. But Layo's reaction to the incidence and what followed is what interests me now. She had told some of us she did not want to do the dishes again for fear of breaking any more plates. But our juvenile minds only saw it as a way of her trying to avoid her chores and no one was ready to take her slot. So, subsequently she would gather the plates when her turn comes and with trembling hands begin to clean them, being 'extra careful' not to break any of them. To cut a long story short, about six months later eight of the plates were already broken, seven by Layo and one by yours sincerely :-)
I told this story to the lady who told me about her fear regarding her new job and she thanked me, promising to brace herself up for the challenge with the expectation to succeed. I was happy and hoped I have been able to help her somehow.
Now the issue is that this lady is not alone in feeling this way. We all often come accross situations that our abilities as we see right now do not seem enough to handle. There are many challenges we come across and the first thing we feel like doing is running away! However, how we handle that initial feeling goes along way in determining the outcome of such situations. Do we allow that feeling to dictate our pace for the rest of the experience of that situation or we call on our inner man to man up (see the pun!) and believe in one thing: victory?
Well, I shared some practical steps with that lady and I am going to share them here also:
- Recognise what you feel for what it is - a feeling. It is not permanent. It is not reality. It does not and should not define you.
- Always recognise that you are bigger on the inside. Instead of the whimsy cat that you feel you are right now, CHOOSE to see the majestic lion in you. (I didn't get to show her the picture above, so consider yourself lucky).
- Tell yourself: Nobody was born doing anything. Everyone LEARNED to do whatever it is that they are good at today. So I am going to learn. (I feel to explain this point is going to require another post. So watch out for it).
- And finally, recognise that God in you is greater than anything. Step forward and act in faith